Even as a child, Tom was fascinated by pipe smoking, as he watched the adults in his surroundings pack and smoke their pipes. When the other children his age were looking into the windows of toy stores, Tom was looking into the windows of pipe shops.
He knew even then that he wanted to be a maker of pipes.

At the age of 16 he began his apprenticeship under Annie Julie, which lasted for a little over three years.

Tom was a pipe repairman and designer for Stanwell for many years, and he still sells some of his designs to Stanwell.
Around 1980 he went into business for himself repairing existing pipes and making new ones.

In the small fishing village of Taarbaek some 10 miles North of Copenhagen, you will find a small shack. For more than 200 years, the local fishermen used the shack when mending their fishing nets.
Not much has changed since then, and today some of the world's finest pipes are made in the very same shack. It is bright yellow, and very comfortably laid out. One can look inside and wonder at the 'mysterious' tools and wonderful pipes in all stages of development and finish.
His home is right across the street from his shop, and his boat is docked next door.

Tom Eltang seems to receive the most universal respect from other pipe makers. Whenever his name comes up among other pipe makers all express their strong goodwill toward Tom.

Tom is fascinated by the combination of beauty and functionality and he never compromise on that. His pipes have his personal stamp of sophistication, often with a powerful cross-grains or birds eyes. During his time with Anne Julie, Tom developed his "Golden Contrast" finish, which characterizes many of his pipes. It's a two-component stain which is very difficult both to blend and work with, and polishing also takes a lot more time but the result is a pipe with a very rich contrast stain that shows the grain perfectly

Tom's pipes are marked with a pipe in an oval together with Eltang. The very best pipes are marked with a small snail together with an individual number. He are in fact not stamping his pipes – he uses an engraving machine.
Tom has always been fascinated by snails: They move slowly and seem to be reflecting a lot – like himself. The snail grades are very rare and so far the wood has only allowed around one snail each month.